Prof. Arnold Monto, chair of the Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on COVID-19, on Monday told Kan 11 News that Israel’s move to administer a third vaccine to adults is “a worthy and very good decision.”
Prof. Monto added that he thinks there are enough Corona vaccines in Israel to carry out the third dose operation, explaining: “We know that older people will be very ill if they get infected. Israel is moving forward.”
Throughout his career, Monto has focused on the occurrence, prevention, and control of respiratory infections, with a particular interest in influenza. At the University of Michigan in 1965, he developed the Tecumseh Study of Respiratory Illness, which described the specific viruses involved in causing illnesses in American families over 11 years. During the 1968 influenza pandemic, he found that vaccinating school-age children reduced infection in the entire community, an early demonstration of herd immunity. He was later involved in evaluating a variety of strategies to control influenza including vaccines, antivirals, and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as antiseptic tissues and face masks. He has been involved in developing pandemic control strategies including social distancing. He also led clinical trials establishing the superiority of inactivated vaccines compared to live attenuated vaccines in preventing influenza in adults.
Prof. Monto noted that the situation in the United States is different from the situation in Israel because a lot of Americans have not yet been vaccinated with the first and second doses. He said the Biden administration would administer booster doses to Americans at a later stage.
The FDA’s advisory committee also said there is no scientific evidence of a problem with the administration of a third dose, and that the question is how many vaccine doses are available there and is there a better way to use them. He added that the FDA is considering a third dose, along with issues such as vaccinating children under the age of 12 and providing permanent approval for vaccines – issues that may be a higher priority for the White House.